Jakarta, IO – The residence of Elnaz Rekabi, an Iranian rock-climbing athlete who competes in South Korea without wearing a hijab (headscarf), has reportedly been demolished. Rekabi, 33, broke Iran’s strict mandatory dress code – but she later apologized and said she “accidentally” dropped her headscarf.
According to BBC, Rekabi was forced to make the apology. Opposition to the hijab rule has prompted widespread protests across Iran. The athlete’s action was even praised by the demonstrators.
However, a footage showing a house with sports medals strewn across the floor circulated on social media this week. Anti-government activists denounced the demolition as an act of revenge against Rekabi – although it is not clear when the video was taken.
The semi-official Tasnim news agency confirmed that the house had been demolished, but said this was because the Rekabi family did not have a valid permit for the construction. The report says it happened before the incident in South Korea.
Iranian women are required to cover their hair with a headscarf and their arms and legs with loose-fitting garment. Female athletes must also adhere to this dress code when they represent their country in overseas competitions.